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Antivir Ther. 2005;10(5):585-91.

Lipid profiles for antiretroviral-naive patients starting PI- and NNRTI-based therapy in the Swiss HIV cohort study.

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  • 1Institut f├╝r klinisehe Epidemiologie, Universit├Ątsspital Basel, Basel, Switzerland. jyoung@uhbs.ch



Blood lipid abnormalities in patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) have been associated with exposure to protease inhibitors (PIs), particularly ritonavir. First therapy with a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) leads to relatively favourable lipid profiles. We report on medium-term lipid profiles (up to 5 years) for antiretroviral-naive patients starting NNRTI- and PI-based HAART in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study.


Since April 2000, blood samples taken at visits scheduled every 6 months have been analysed for cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations. For 1065 antiretroviral-naive patients starting HAART after April 2000, we estimated changes in concentration over time using multivariate linear regression with adjustment for baseline covariates, use of lipid-lowering drugs and whether the sample was taken in a fasting state.


Non-high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels increase with increasing exposure to either PI- or NNRTI-based therapy, HDL cholesterol levels increase and triglyceride levels decrease with increasing exposure to NNRTI-based therapy, whereas triglyceride levels increase with increasing exposure to PI-based therapy. Between NNRTI-based therapies, there is a slight difference in triglyceride levels, which tend to increase with increasing exposure to efavirenz and to decrease with increasing exposure to nevirapine. Of the three common PI-based therapies, nelfinavir appears to have a relatively favourable lipid profile, with little change with increasing exposure. Of the other two PI therapies, lopinavir with ritonavir has a more favourable profile than indinavir with ritonavir, with smaller increases in both non-HDL cholesterol and triglycerides and an increase in HDL cholesterol. Increasing exposure to abacavir is associated with a decrease in the level of triglycerides.


In general, NNRTI-based therapy is associated with a more favourable lipid profile than PI-based therapy, but different PI-based therapies are associated with very different lipid profiles. Nelfinavir appears to have a relatively favourable lipid profile. Of the two boosted PI therapies, lopinavir appears to have a more favourable lipid profile than indinavir.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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